April 11, 2008


These battles of bats go to Trojans

Errors help Homer top Purple nine


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High baserunner Ian Spafford (7) slides safely into second as Homer Central’s Nick Biondi takes the throw during Thursday’s OHSL Freedom Division outing. Host Homer captured a 5-2 victory.

Staff Writer

Two untimely errors proved to be costly Thursday when Homer Central hosted Cortland High in OHSL Freedom Division action. The two errors came on consecutive plays in the fourth inning and led to three unearned Trojan runs and broke a 1-1 tie as Homer would go on to a 5-2 victory over their rivals.
Homer improves to 1-2 in division and overall action while Cortland slips to 0-2 in division and overall play.
The Trojans also got some timely hitting from Eric Rosato, who went 2-for-3 and drove in three of the Trojan runs, and Alex Duell, who was 2-for-2. Duell and Derrick McCall (2-for-3) batted eighth and ninth in the Trojan line-up.
“The bats finally came through and the defense stepped up,” said Duell. “Everyone really pulled together today and it was nice to get a win.
“We been stranded in the gym so much,” Duell added. “It was hard adjusting to being on the field only four or five times. You get the funny bounces and things you are not expecting, but we are getting more comfortable and I think that showed today.”
“Anthony (Brevetti) really came up big with five good innings on the mound,” said Homer coach Rob Nasiatka of his starting pitcher. “We knew it would be a tough game and that Cortland would come right at us. We did get some good hitting today and there were some guys who showed that they really wanted to play ball.
“I like having 15 guys to go to,” Nasiatka continued. “Derrick McCall really stepped up and filled in a shortstop today. He looked real good there. It looked like he had played that position his whole life.”
Brevetti worked out of trouble in the first and second innings, leaving four Cortland runners on base. The senior allowed a total of four hits and issued five walks while allowing just one run.
“It was a great win for the team,” said Brevetti. “I did let some guys get on base in those first three innings and I had to work through it. I just had to bear down and concentrate. The defense really came through and we did get some big hits to get that first win.”
Homer took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Ricky Newman led off with a single and he stole second base. Rosato followed with a double to right and he advanced to third when the relay throw to home plate was wild trying to get Newman out.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second, Cortland got on the board in the top of the third. Trevor Williamson drew a lead-off walk. Williamson moved to second and a groundout to first base by Ian Spafford. Williamson moved to third on a wild pitch and he scored on a two-out single up the middle by Justin Burns (2-for-4).
CORTLAND THREATENED again in the fourth with runners at first and third with one out. Brevetti got Steve Wright to ground out and Williamson flied out to end the inning.
The Trojans came to bat and Duell led off with a single. Ryne Austin came in to pinch run. McCall singled to right and Austin stopped at second, but the ball was bobbled in right field and Austin dashed to third. Newman hit a ground ball through the legs of the third baseman and Austin dashed home while McCall headed to second. McCall and Newman moved up one base on a wild pitch by Matt Carr. Rosato then singled to centerfield and both runners scored for a 4-1 Trojan lead.
Cody Thomas came in to pitch and retired three of the next four batters to stop any further scoring by the Trojans.
Dan Miller came in to pitch in the top of the sixth inning. Brandon Watkins struck out, but the ball rolled away from Duell and Watkins reached first base on the passed ball. Watkins moved to second on the ground out by pinch hitter A.J. Meldrim and he scored on a two-out single by Wright.
The Trojans got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Brevetti was hit by a pitch for the second time with two outs. K.J. Reese followed with a single off the glove of a diving Jason Hogan between second and third as Brevetti raced to third. Spafford came on to pitch for Cortland. His first pitch was a wild pitch that allowed Brevetti to score and Reese went to second. Reese stole third, but was stranded by a ground out to end the inning.
The Purple Tigers did get the tying run to the plate with two outs. Burns and Ryann Hubbard (2-for-4) had back-to-back single, which put runners at the corners, but Watkins flied out to end the game and give Miller his first save of the season.
DESPITE THE LOSS, Cortland coach John Tobin saw some positives from his team.
“It is early,” said Tobin. “We have not been out of the field much. This is the third time we have been on a field and two of those three times have been games. You need time to teach with a young team and we are teaching on the fly. We started a sophomore pitcher (Carr), freshman catcher (Justin Tabel) and three sophomore infielders (Burns at first, Hubbard at second and Watkins at shortstop). They are doing a pretty good job. I am pleased with the effort.
“Homer is a good club,” Tobin added. “Brevetti is a player. He has been around. He gives you a different look and he throws hard. The Homer guys came out and hit the ball hard today. They have some good things to look forward to.”
Homer will have a couple of days off before resuming the season Monday when the Trojans travel to Mexico for an 11 a.m. Freedom Division contest.
Cortland will return to baseball action Monday when the Purple Tigers host Bishop Ludden at 12 noon at Beaudry Park.
HOMER JVs moved to 4-0 on the season as they won their fourth game in four days by beating Cortland 11-8 Thursday at Guido Field.
Homer jumped out to a 3-0 start in the top of the first inning that was sparked by Ethan Forster’s two run double.
Cortland came back to score five runs in the bottom of the first on Justin Hogan’s two-run double and singles by Jake Robillard and Rian Flatt.
Homer built an 8-5 lead with one run in the second and two runs each in the third and fourth. Cortland would come back though to tie the game with two runs of their own in the fourth and then a single run in the fifth.
The Trojan JVs went ahead for good in the top of the sixth inning as Matt Compton drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run single. Compton would later come around to score Homer’s 11th run on an error.
Hugh Kiernan pitched the final three innings for Homer to earn his first junior varsity victory. Justin Hogan was the tough luck losing pitcher for the Purple Tigers.
Homer’s offense was led by Ethan Forster (2-for-4, double, four RBIs), Zach Blanden (2-for-4, RBI, SB) and Zandrew Zimmerman (2-for-5, 3 runs scored, 3 SB).
Devon Darrow (2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs scored), Jake Robillard (2-for-4, RBI, SB), and Rian Flatt (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) led the offense for the Purple Tigers.
Homer JVs will return to action this afternoon at Union-Endicott while Cortland will travel to Bishop Ludden on Monday.

Early runs help Homer defeat CHS

Staff Writer
It’s a habit that Coach Cris Colasurdo doesn’t want to see her Homer Central softball team break.
Thursday afternoon, for the fourth time in as many games this season, the Trojans scored early and often, in this case three times in the first inning and five in the second against host Cortland High at Meldrim Field. The end result was the same for the fourth time in a row, too — another Homer victory, this time by final score of 14-1.
In those four wins, all OHSL Freedom Division contests, the Trojans have scored 12 first-inning runs, and thus far this season have outscored their opponents 61-7.
“We have a number of really strong hitters,” an obviously pleased Colasurdo said. “Before we’ve had one or two, but this year we have five or six good ones. Everyone in the lineup is actually a capable hitter. When someone has an off game, there’s usually someone there to help out.
“We’ve been the visitor in three of the games so far, and so have gotten off to early leads right away. Against Chittenango, in our only home game, Haylee Riley struck out all three batters she faced and then we scored four times in the bottom of the inning,” she said of Wednesday’s 12-1 win.
“Their top five or six hitters just drive the ball,” Cortland coach Mick Lowie said, his team having lost for the second time in as many games this season. “That’s one of the best teams I’ve seen in my three years of coaching here. Maggie (Reagan, Cortland’s sophomore pitcher) had the ball up in the strike zone, and it was batting practice for them. She did a better job of keeping it down the last three innings.
“Overall we played pretty good defense. I thought the girls played fine,” he added. “We made some tough catches in the outfield and some nice plays on the infield. The outfield in particular did a nice job; they were busy. They made the plays and hit the cutoffs.
“Offensively we did a better job of making contact. We’re singles hitters, and don’t have the power that Homer does. We have to put two or three hits together to score.”
Senior Stephanie Hartquist, who played third base and shortstop, led the winners offensively, going 4-for-4 with a triple, two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored. Junior centerfielder Courtney Rainbow went 3-for-3 with a triple, two doubles, two RBI and three runs, while senior shortstop-catcher Ashley Brown went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs, sophomore left fielder Ashley Crossway was 2-for-2 with a run and junior first baseman-pitcher Jessica Rigg went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Junior centerfielder Kaleigh Smith (RBI) and junior second baseman Kayleigh Mital both went 2-for-3 for Cortland.
“WE GOT PRETTY pumped up before games, and everyone goes in with a good attitude,” Hartquist said in explaining Homer’s early offensive success. “It definitely helps our pitchers with their confidence, and so does knowing that they have the whole team to back them up. I just go in every time thinking ‘This is going to be the pitch I hit’ and hope I pull it off.”
While the Trojans were building a big early lead, Homer starter Riley was able to squelch the hosts offensively, the senior allowing just two hits in three innings of work (both in the third) with three strikeouts. Rigg came on in the fourth and went the rest of the way to get the win, allowing four hits and one run in her four innings of work with four strikeouts.
“We have a tournament Saturday (at Herkimer), and Haylee’s been pitching four innings in our games, with Jess or Ashley Brown going for three,” Colasurdo said. “I wanted to give Jess some more innings. She’s been doing very well adjusting to varsity this season after playing two or three games with us last year. The girls all trust and support one another.
“Everyone’s come together so far,”she added. “We still have some tough games coming up. But the girls have positive attitudes and are hard workers; if they stay strong and keep working hard, I think we can stay as one of the top two or three teams in the Division and one of the top teams in the section.”
“We want to go father than the first round of sectionals,” Hartquist said with a smile. “We haven’t been able to the last couple of years. We have a good attitude, confident but not cocky; we have high hopes and confidence in each other and as a team, too.”
“HOMER IS GOING to be one of the top teams in the league, without a doubt,” Lowie said, “along with East Syracuse-Minoa. With that lineup, the only pitcher they might have trouble with is (Fulton senior) Jessica Palmitesso. But they’ll hit the ball against her — maybe they won’t drive it like they did against us — and that could be a problem for Fulton.”
Homer will face Troy Catholic, a Class AA team from Section 2, at 10 a.m. Saturday in the first round of the Herkimer Tournament. The Trojans will then go against either Holy Names (an A team from Section 2) or Sullivan West (a B team from Section 9) at noon.
Cortland next hosts Fowler at 11 a.m. Wednesday and Mexico at the same time Thursday in a pair of league contests.